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A Tale of Two Sons: The Inside Story of a Father, His Sons, and a Shocking Murder Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 1, 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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First Corinthians - Women's Bible Study Participant Book: Living Love When We Disagree by Melissa Spoelstra
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John MacArthur, the author of numerous best-selling books that have touched millions of lives, is pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, and president of The Master's College and Seminary. He is also president of Grace to You, the ministry that produces the internationally syndicated radio program Grace to You and a host of print, audio, and Internet resources. He authored the notes in the Gold Medallion Award-winning The MacArthur Study Bible. For more information, contact Grace to You at 1-800-55-GRACE.

From AudioFile

John MacArthur, a pastor for almost 40 years and a natural speaker, reads his own book, a labor of love covering the parable of the Prodigal Son from the Gospel of Luke. This material is close to MacArthur's heart, and he reads it as if he is talking straight to the listener. The material, while largely familiar, still has a hidden wealth of application, and MacArthur has the added benefit of coming to this task after completing commentaries on the rest of the New Testament. The CDs are not very user-friendly, each featuring just one track of over an hour, but the subject matter is so deep and enlightening that this minor drawback does not detract from the experience. S.M.M. © AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785262687
  • ASIN: B001O9CD10
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #674,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tim Challies TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The story of the Prodigal Son is undoubtedly among the best-known and most highly-favored tales of all time. Even those who do not know the story itself are familiar with its outline or some of the words and phrases that arose from its King James translation. A powerful and heart-rending story, it is unforgettable to all who hear it. John MacArthur, with no hyperbole, says it is "hands down, the greatest five minutes of storytelling ever." His most recent book, A Tale of Two Sons, is an examination of this, Jesus' most memorable and most powerful parable.

Though most people know something of this parable, very few really understand it. We see this even in the name assigned to it--the Parable of the Prodigal Son. The story, after all, was not meant to be primarily a feel-good tale of a father's love for his son, though certainly it is that, too. Rather, "it is a powerful wake-up call with a very earnest warning." The purpose of the parable, as Jesus delivered it, centered on the elder brother--the very character who is so often overlooked in popular re-tellings of the tale.

In the book's opening chapter MacArthur makes clear the central and culminating lesson of the parable: "Jesus is pointing out the stark contrast between God's own delight in the redemption of sinners and the Pharisees' inflexible hostility toward those same sinners." Though the younger son is important to the story, his redemption is not the main point. Rather, this parable is to serve as "a mirror for every human heart and conscience" that will reflect either God's love for fallen sinners or a human hardness and arrogance that would deny that such hardened sinners could ever know His love.

A Tale of Two Sons is classic John MacArthur.
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Format: Hardcover
The Parable of the Prodigal Son is one of the most well-known of Jesus' parables. However, a lot of the theological depth of the parable goes undiscovered as preachers assume the lesson ends with the return of the younger son. MacArthur brings the full meaning of this important parable to light by showing the two-possible ways someone can be apart from a love-relationship with the Father. Excellent material.
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Format: Hardcover
It is doubtful that many would argue that a large emphasis within the mission of disciples of Christ is to put the truth of Scripture before ourselves and others that God would be glorified. This is fundamental to who we are as Christians. However, within this lifelong mission, we too often become familiar with the narratives and have a functional understanding of the text and so we move on without true life transformation. John MacArthur endeavors to change that. In his newest book, A Tale of Two Sons, MacArthur unpacks the parable of the prodigal son in the pattern of clear, biblical, convicting teaching that many of us have come to love from his ministry.

I appreciate the `angle' that they took in writing and publishing this book. The whole feel of the book comes across as a story. Everything from the font on the cover, the image of a burly figure, to the subtitle of (The inside story of a Father, His Sons, and a Shocking Murder), all reflect the type of drama we would expect in a masterful story. And it is helpful to remember that this is, after all, a story told by Jesus himself, to communicate spiritual truth.

The book is broken neatly into four main parts:

The Parable, which provides a wide-angeled preview;

The Prodigal, which deals with the rebellious son

The Father, which obviously deals with the gracious and forgiving father

The Elder Brother, which identifies his own rebellious heart

The basic summary of the book and the parable is that the prodigal son is the rebellious sinner who has squandered the good gifts of God and in his own heart truly wished death upon God.
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By Jbg on October 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
John Macarthur does a wonderful job of breaking down what many believe to be the greatest short story ever told - The Prodigal Son. However, Macarthur shows how the story deals with much more than typically meets the eye. The story was directed towards the Pharisees, the hypocritical religious leaders of the day, who hated Jesus. As you read this book, you see the Father's radical love for his sons, despite their rebellion toward him. This is a picture of the love Jesus has for all men and the desire He has to redeem them through repentance and faith in Him. You also see repentance clearly demonstrated in the life of the younger son and how sin brought him to the end of himself. The younger son is a picture of the publicans and harlots of Jesus' day. But, more importantly, you see the quiet rebellion of the older son, who pictures the hypocritical Pharisees, both of Jesus' day and the current time we live in.

This book is well written, and like all other Macarthur books, it is deeply researched. You will gain new insights to this wonderful story and your heart will be touched by the unconditional love of Jesus. This book rips apart the hypocritical spirit that plagues the church today and turns sinners away from the Gospel of grace.

It will be worth every penny you spend and time you invest to read this timely book.
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